First Aid

Does BLS Include First Aid

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Nowadays, the emerging need for First Aid in every profession is quite evident. On the other hand, being certified in Basic Life Support(BLS) is reasonably necessary for the medical profession. But does BLS include first aid training too? 

Certification in BLS has been proven to be very handy recently, especially for first responders and healthcare professionals. However, there are certain things you should know about before moving on to getting the certification right away.

In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about Basic Life Support certification and what are the benefits.

Paramedics helping injured woman breathe through a breathing mask


Basic Life Support Certification

Basic Life Support (BLS) is a kind of medical care given to emergency patients facing any life-threatening situation or serious injuries. During this time, a trained individual can provide primary care to the person until they receive complete medical care. 

Several certified BLS courses in the UK teach learners about basic First Aid techniques to help save lives. These courses involve First Aid training and teach how to administer CPR, deal with a choking casualty, and deal with heart attacks. 

BLS certificates are usually valid for 2 years and must be renewed every two years.

But the first thing to know is who should be trained for Basic Life Support.

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Who Needs BLS Training?

Medical professionals must have BLS training as it is necessary for their field, but they are often required to undergo advanced training called Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

Besides medical professionals, other individuals who might need BLS training are – 

  1. Nurses
  2. Paramedics
  3. Mental Health professionals
  4. Public Safety professionals
  5. Firefighters
  6. Lifeguards
  7. Teachers
  8. Law enforcement officers
  9. Anyone living with an aged parent, 
  10. Anyone having a chronic patient at home

Although the need for BLS training is specifically required for the individuals mentioned above, it is still advised for everyone to have an idea. For example, everyone should be certified in BLS, from teens to adults, from corporate employees to truck drivers.

What Does BLS Certification Course Offer?

BLS certification training mainly teaches individuals to give primary medical care to patients during an emergency such as cardiac emergencies, breathing casualty, severe choking casualty etc. BLS certification courses mainly focus on CPR and effectively communicating with first responders. 

A BLS class would train you how to use an Automated External Defibrillator just in case you encounter a cardiac arrest, and the paramedics might be late. Unlike traditional CPR, BLS courses cover training for the care of infants, children and adults.

Instructor teaching students how to give chest compressions during emergencies


But how can you receive this certification?

We have covered it in the below section.

How to Obtain BLS Certification?

There are many places to get your BLS certification in person, as these places give you a more in-depth understanding of the course.

Moreover, you will get hands-on experience through training in person. 

Although there are many places you can get certified online, the Resuscitation Council UK also offers courses covering Adult BLS and Newborn BLS separately. You can also check out other websites that offer online certification for BLS.

Does BLS Certification Include First Aid Training?

As we know, First Aid mainly means giving primary medical care to anyone suffering from a mild to a life-threatening situation. First Aid training usually involves assessing emergencies like drowning, poisoning, handling broken bones, heart attack etc.

On the other hand, BLS also falls under the category of giving primary care; however, it does not include training in treating minor wounds such as dressing, stitching of injuries etc.

BLS involves assessing critical situations like heart attacks covered under CPR. CPR is typically used when a person has breathing difficulties or goes through a cardiac arrest.

A first aid kit with things needed for dressing minor wounds


In a BLS course, you will be taught how to give chest compressions, use AED, and provide rescue breathing. But, a First Aid course only includes some of these, so the two terms differ.

Moreover, before starting your training on either of the courses, you should be clear about what type of training your job requires. For example, many job descriptions require a First Aid certification along with a BLS certification. 

Does BLS Certification Include CPR Training?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR, is the process of giving chest compressions and rescue breaths to a person in cardiac arrest. This procedure helps to keep the person alive until the arrival of emergency medical care. 

As discussed earlier, BLS certification does include training for cardiac arrest. BLS covers in-depth knowledge of CPR while working with a team, addressed mainly to healthcare providers.

Although BLS does cover CPR training, separate certification courses are offered by organisations such as the American Red Cross. Hence, BLS certification is, in fact, different from the usual CPR training. 

Benefits of BLS Certification

One of the most important benefits of being BLS certified is that you can help save lives when they are in need. Other than ethical reasons, if we consider it professionally, it helps an individual a lot in doing their job.

The word benefit written on a white paper and hung up with clips


BLS certification’s benefits include the following – 

  • The ability to stay calm under pressure.
  • Increased competency and confidence.
  • The ability to work in teams effectively.
  • The ability to assess and handle a medical emergency.
  • Possibility of a speedy recovery or chance of survival of patients you aided.

Lastly, being certified in BLS makes you a better candidate for promotion than your coworkers. 


Many people have this doubt; does BLS include first aid? We hope that our blog has dispelled this misconception among those individuals. Hence, interested people will now know whether or not their desired profession requires training in BLS or only first aid.


Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]


Can you fail BLS?

– The minimum requirement in order to get a BLS certificate is 84%, hence, any number lower than that might end up failing you.

Can I use ACLS instead of BLS?

– No, you cannot do that since ACLS does not cover BLS contents; hence you must take the certification separately. Although, you should definitely finish BLS before starting your ACLS course.

What are the 4 elements of BLS?

– The four elements of BLS include the following –

  1. Initial Assessment
  2. Airway Management
  3. Oxygen Therapy
  4. Chest Compressions

What are the 3 P’s in CPR?

– The three P’s of CPR are: Preserve Life, Prevent Deterioration, and Promote Recovery.

What is most important in BLS?

– According to the Resuscitation Council UK, the most important skills in BLS include chest compressions to pump blood around the body and rescue breaths to provide oxygen.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.